GB toast archery glory as Tokyo places sealed

GB toast archery glory as Tokyo places sealed

13 June 2019 / 12:07

Naomi Folkard is well on course for her fifth Olympic appearance after she helped the women's archery team to achieve a full three-person quota for Tokyo after the men's trio had earlier booked their places on a historic day.

Only the second time GB have qualified a full archery team for the Olympics, the feat was sealed as both the men’s and women’s recurve teams made the quarter-finals at the World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

The men’s squad of Patrick Huston, Tom Hall and Alexander Wise toppled Japan in the second round, while Folkard, alongside Sarah Bettles and Bryony Pitman bested Italy in trying circumstances. 

“There was a fair amount of pressure,” said Bettles.

“I think everyone on this field wants the same thing, everyone wants that quota place – or the team quota place for the Olympics – so it’s a huge amount of pressure to try and go for that.

“We’ve been training really hard, really focusing on this team place so to pull it off is just a relief and amazing.”

Made to battle hard for their spots, the trio were tied with Italy after two sets, but subsequent efforts of 56 and 55 sealed a 6-2 victory.

The men made slightly easier work of their match against Japan, winning in straight sets after scores of 57, 56 and 54 to their opponent’s 54, 55 and 53.

And 28-year-old Hall knows that, after taking a step closer to his first Olympic Games, the goal is now clear – to claim GB’s first medal since Alison Williamson’s individual bronze in Athens.

“I’ve never shot a match like that in my life. The noise was unreal and everything about the atmosphere was supercharged,” he said.

“In the next year, we’re going to do what we did this past year only better. We’re going to work to improve everything else. 

"We’ve been trying to do the impossible in a really short amount of time and we’ve succeeded so far but there’s more still to come.”

Sportsbeat 2019